tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 3, 2019 3:00am-6:00am PST
they tried that for a while. in fact, they tried that while the president was still running for president. >> that's not supposed to happen, joe. anyhow, good morning. welcome to "morning joe." >> sold real estate in turkey -- >> that's not supposed to happen, either. >> who they're turning over syria to to kill our allies. the philippines, selling real estate in the philippines where the president has embraced a thuggish autocrat who brags about extra judicial killings. >> no, we don't do that. anyway, it's thursday, january 3rd. with us we have msnbc contributor mike barnacle, republican strategist and msnbc political analyst susan delpercio, politics editor sam stein, columnist david ignatius. good to have you all on board this morning. in just a few hours from now, joe, washington is going to look a lot different than it has over the past two years.
house democrats armed with subpoena power and new found political capital plan to hold president trump to account. it is a divided government which this morning remains partly shutdown for the 13th straight day and the standoff could last for weeks. so frame this moment for us. >> if you take a snapshot of what today looks like, it would be very easy to say that this is the crossing of two paths, the coming not only democratic majority, but coming democratic dominance in american politics. you've got the republicans on the run. you've got donald trump right now being even more irrational than before, even more bizarre than before. so much so that there are two editorials in the "wall street journal" editorial page questioning his fitness for office. one, in fact, suggesting that the questions being raised more and more in their circles,
whether americans can put up with much more of this after donald trump serves out his first term. that comes with a huge asterisk. we remember when donald trump first launched his campaign in june of 2015, him sitting at 1%, 2%. i remember when we got electsed in 1994, the u.s. news and world report cover that showed a picture of a dieing democratic party saying is this the end of two-party rule? i remember barack obama being elected in 2008 and hearing about the permanent oh bam ma-- obama coalition which lasted two years. if you take a snapshot of today, it looks like trump is down, trumpism is going down and will not recover. there are a lot of reasons to believe that is the case. but we always have to be wary of making snap judgments based on a day. >> that is for sure.
>> one thing is for sure, mika. today, nancy pelosi will be sworn in as speaker of the house for the second time. the first time, of course, in 2007 and now again in 2019. we will see the exactly what happens, what democrats learned from their first four years in office. and i suspect those challenges are going to be great. >> yesterday marked president trump's first cabinet meeting of the new year. the department of defense is now run bay long time executive at boeing, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. the epa is being run by a former coal lobbyist. the department of health and human services is being run by a former pharmaceutical lobbyist and the department of interior
has a former oil industry lobbyist acting as an acting secretary not to mention the acting chief of staff mick mulvaney and acting attorney general matthew whitaker who yesterday launched into praise of the president. >> sir, mr. president, i will start by highlighting the fact that you stayed in washington, d.c. over the holidays giving up christmas with your family, new year's with your family, trying to bring an end to this shutdown and security to our southern border. you have demonstrated your dedication to delivering on this critical issue. for our country and for the american people. >> wow. >> it's unbelievable. i want to show a couple other clips from there and then get a response from our panel, especially david ignatius can on some of these foreign policy issues. during the cabinet meeting, donald trump seemed to become the first president of the
united states to ever endorse the 1979 invasion of afghanistan. >> we are talking to the taliban. we are talking to a lot of different people. but here is the thing. you mentioned india. india is there. russia is there. russia used to be the soviet union. afghanistan made it russia. because it seems to me went bruptd fighting in russia. the reason russia was in afghanistan is because terrorists were going into russia. the problem is it was a tough fight. literally, they went bankrupt. they went into being called russia again as opposed to the soviet union. you know, a lot of these places you're reading about now are no longer part of russia because of
afghanistan. but why isn't russia there, why isn't india there, why isn't pakistan there, why are we there and we're 6,000 miles away? >> literally, he's literally wrong. it was not afghanistan that bankrupted the soviet union. it was a collection of terriblemakterrible mistakes, tragic mistakes over 74 years. it was purges where up to 30 million russians were killed by their own government. it was forced famines. in ukraine, it was a collection of things. every president, actually, and this is relevant, david ignatius, it was every president from harry s. truman starting in late 1946 to 1947 to george reagan and george w. bush, it
was a collection of their policies that donald trump is dismantling that actually brought the soviet union to their knees. getting a history lesson from a man who is now tearing asunder those policies that actually did destroy what evil 'em pair ronald reagan called the evil empire is quite rich in early 2019. >> well, happy new year and a history lesson. there were many, to me, cringe worthy moments in that first cabinet meeting. having the president sitting in front of a huge poster of himself was one. he clearly has no understanding of the idea that has driven, as you say, joe, every administration since harry
truman that american power in the world is a force that makes us stronger, safer, more prosperous, that our network of alliances, our relationships, the commitments we make to people are at the heart of american power. the president doesn't see that. he wants to pull back. he's almost inviting the russians to come back. so the history lesson about afghanistan was one small piece of this, the way that he has. i've been talking with piece who are really -- i don't think they're reeling is overstating it from governments around the world, from members of our own 34i military who are seeing the guardrails, being taken off as joe mattis leaves, as secretary of defense, as john kelly leaves, the white house chief of staff, the people who the world sees as having some of the president's instincts are leaving and there's real anxiety about what is ahead.
people trying to understand what are we trying to do in afghanistan? how long are we staying in these places? and people who i talk to shrug their shoulders. one said to me last night, you know, we just have to reckon with the reality that america is less important in the world than it's been for a long while. that's worrying. >> yeah, let's take a look at what the president said about syria. and i want to follow up with you on that. >> look, we don't want syria. obama gave up syria years ago when he didn't violate the red line. i did when i shot 59 missiles at it. so syria was lost long ago. it was lost long ago. and besides that, we're talking about sand and death. we're not talking about vast wealth. we're talking about sand and dealt. >> first of all, david, as you know better than most reporters in washington, d.c., syria
wasn't lost years ago. in fact, our 2500 men and women are doing a hell of a job there right now. could you talk about the fact that the commander in chief sees syria as nothing more than sand and death and could you explain to our viewers who the president is doing is i giving russia a foothold in the middle east, giving iran a chance to be a existential threat to israel and finally resurrect isis and other terror groups that plan to fill in that void. >> joe, it's simple and tragic. our president, commander in chief, describes this country which has been a crucial test of wills between different regional players as simply sand and
death, he's essentially folding our hand and requiring the people of that region to look elsewhere for solutions, to look elsewhere to fill the vacuums. the kurds, who until a couple of weeks ago depend on us as faithful allies and stabilizing northern syria who are successfully, because they have no other choice, turning to russia and the syrian regime and trying to cut a deal. i think president trump has this notion that turkey will be the stabilizing force in northern syria. that ain't going to happen. there's been a lot of evidence to test that proposition and that's not going to happen. but it just -- to see the american power which had been successful at low cost in destroying isis and stabilizing that part of the country being destabilized by the president pretty much willy-nilly against the objections of the secretary of defense, his secretary of state, his chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, you cannot find anyone basically who doesn't
think he made a mistake on syria. it's just tough to watch. >> not only is that tough to watch, mike barnacle, much of what he said was complete and utter nonsense, what he said about generals of the past generation actually is so dangerous on so many fronts. but i want to read for you what ann garren described yesterday's meeting in "the washington post." 935 minut 95 minutes out outright lies -- i added lies. she said falsehood. deeply offensive, maybe draft dodger doesn't fit his circumstances perfectly, but i think most persons would consider what he did draft dodging. he's draft dodging back during
the vietnam war while robert mueller is working for a year to fix his knee so he can go fight in vietnam. then you have people like general mattis and stan mcchrystal and william mccraven who have put their lives on the line for a generation in service and defense of our public and you have that man in the white house attack them. >> yeah, joe, and that man in the white house when it came to a kuhn frontation that he felt had to be resolved quickly in order to get jim mattis out of the office of seblcretary of defense on january 1st rather than february 1st, he had mike pompeo call general mattis because he was probably afraid to call jim mattis. i'm aligned with david ignatius here in the sense that for the past three days, i've spoken to
half a dozen people who were members of prior administrations and one who was still with this administration. the theme was the same. they felt there was a line of astoundingly ignorat and astoundingly isolated and dangerous incident yous involving this president who for two weeks has been in basically isolation. and he appears yesterday finally bursting at the seams to talk. and every win of the people that i spoke to had one theme in common. they indicated they had been called by members of governments and other nations used to dealing with a sensible, sane and safe united states of america. asking them what was going on, how long do they anticipate what was going on now would last and did people here in this administration realize the risk and the heightened danger they were bringing by this erratic
behavior. that was the common theme. >> well, the ignorance was astounding in the president's display yesterday, mike barnacle. it was dizzying, really, to watch him talk and try and recount history in his own words. i think sam stein put it best. sam, you tweeted somehow trump has gone from the soviet invasion of afghanistan to the kurds to tom cruise to computerboards and obama and plain loads of cash. here is the tom cruise portion of that. take a look. >> iran is a much different country than it was when i became president. iran, when i became president, i had a meeting at the pentagon with lots of generals. it was like from a movie. better looking than tom cruise and stronger. and i had more generals than i've ever seen and we were at the bottom of this inkrecredibl room. i said this is the greatest room i ever ever seen. i saw more computer boards than
i think that they make today. iran is a much different country right now. thier havi they're having riots every week in every city bigger than they've ever had before. their currencies are under siege, thanks so much. a lot of bad things are happening. when we do all the things that we've done monetarily to iran, iran is in trouble. >> sam stein with the zigzagging of his brain from one topic to another, sometimes really utter nonsense. i guess the question is, getting back to the shutdown and getting back to the business of trying to make the government run, which it is shut down partially now, how does anyone strike a deal with this man, even the republicans? >> well, they don't. what happened yesterday in addition to this disjointed talk about foreign policy is he essentially just discounted out of hand the shutdown offer that his own vice president had recently made to senate
democrats which was sort of half of the 5 billion for the wall. he said no, we want the 5 billion. so it becomes very hard for lawmakers to negotiate in good faith with the white house when they know the president can just undermine mike pence at any moment. but, you know, yesterday was crazy, obviously. and i don't want to trivialize it too much. but as david ignatius said, how weird is it to walk into a room and there's a movie poster of someone just laid out on the table. let's say you were in a corporate board room. that would be bizarre. but yesterday we were brought into this room and they had this movie positiver laying there for some unknown reason. it's minor, it's silly, but it's totally bizarre. and it gets to something that is common with this president, which is there is a trivialzation of everything that's going on in the world. everything is broken down for these small little bits.
and there's huge consequences. one thing i -- and david can talk to this maybe more than i can. but during the course of this rambling foreign policy speech, he outright dismissed the world that india was doing. he said oh, they're building a library. who cares. india is doing more than that, but comments like that seem to have real world diplomatic impacts. and trump seems to not care about all the chaos that he leaves in moments like these. it has real consequences down the road. >> yeah. >> we don't know what he's doing, if he cares or not. we know that he certainly doesn't understand the impact of his ignorance on america's standing across the globe. michael steele, let's talk about his standing inside the republican party. we saw mitt romney come out with a strong op-ed two days ago. of course, i was humored by
let's say certain blue checkmarks on the far left who with attacked romney's op-ed. and, of course, these are the same people who have been pitching f bitching for years. here is a guy that -- i certainly never saw it in the clinton demonstration when every republican and democrat i knew were attacking bill clinton. romney made a sworn statement before he was sworn in. but just that op-ed before being sworn in was a remarkable thing. and for the most part, the republican party was silent yesterday. you read "the wall street journal" today, there's criticisms of the president on the editorial page today, some suggesting that we may not be able to handle a second trump term. are we seeing an inflexion point
and are we going to see more of this from republicans in 2019? >> i think that is the prevailing question within republican circles, joe. i think what romney did was he finally put a crack in the waum that had been systemically built by grassroots activists, certainly in that cabinet room as you listen to the acting attorney general wax poetic about the president's behavior over the holidays, romney's op-ed, leading off the way he did before he takes the oath of office, i think sent a signal that there's a change coming in the way that this senate, with him in it, will respond to this president. i think mitch mcconnell notwithstanding, and that will be an interesting game of chess between the two of them, mcconnell commanding control of the senate caucus in terms of having a unified front on behalf
of the president's agenda and mitt romney, who is drawing a very fine line, joe, around character. a lot of folks kind of missed the point of this op-ed. >> yep. >> that roomney was not saying don't like the tax cuts, i don't like the big policy initiatives that have had some successful impacts on the economy and certainly for the party. what i have and where i'm drawing the line is on the character of the man holding the office and how he diminishes the office, i think symbolized in that poster that we were just talking about on the desk, not the impact of the ideas and the policies that are coming forth. and i think romney wants to draw that distinction. >> it is a bizarre world, mika, that we all -- a political world that we're all a part of. yesterday the press conference
reminded me of the story about putting the frog in a pot of water, turning it to a slow boil. the frog not realizing what was happening and pretty soon it's at a full boil and the frog dies. yesterday, that frog found himself in a five alarm fire looking at the movie poster and all the other chaos that was raining around that white house. again, if -- if -- and it's a big if. if we had a cabinet that was filled with people with more character, so many that had character have been fired. if we had a house and a senate that took their job seriously, there would be people going up to the white house this morning saying, mr. president, questions abound whether you were fit for this office. if this continues, we are going to ask your cabinet to take a vote on whether you were fit for
office sx office and invoke the 25th amendment. if any of the 44 presidents would have behaved that way, those questions would have been raised. if barack obama would have done that in 2013, republicans would have probably tried to start impeachment hearings. and rightly so. this is a man who obviously is not fit to hold the office. and we've known that for a very long time. but he keeps giving, mika, a preponderance of evidence to those members of the house and the senate that will care that vote. he is not fit, he is not acting fit, and he is pushing foreign policy initiatives that are
actually going to do grave damage to this country, our national security, and embolden and strengthen our enemy. iran is not having a terrible year. iran is having a wonderful year. we just ceded syria to iran. they now have an active and open supply chain down to hezbollah and anybody else that wants to destroy the state of israel. >> statements about his fitness are better coming from you than me, but for the republicans who are criticizing mitt romney for the piece he wrote, head of the rnc, which is stunning, mitch mcconnell, attorney general whitaker who obviously took the loyalty oath -- >> acting attorney general. >> acting attorney general, among many actings. let me explain to you what mitt romney's piece was about. clearly, you don't get it. he's creating an opening for you. his piece was about character. his piece was about decency.
his piece was about civility. his piece was about american moral character. no more than that. and he was asking for you to call this president out and hold him accountable on these issues and these issues alone. this is an opening for republicans. >> i think that's a great point you're making. i remember so many times when i was with a small group of rebels gr going after newt gingrich. openly, publicly, some of the other republicans would attack us, but behind the scenes we would talk to them and they say keep going, you're providing a very valuable output, not only for us, but the entire republican party. and mika, you're rights. that's what mitt romney is doing. what mitt romney is doing may not be good for donald trump, but it is great for republicans in the senate. >> if you like your party and you want it back.
so then we'll go to susan auto this. i don't know if there's an answer to this question. but in light of people like mitt romney, is there a chance for mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi to strike a deal? >> there is a chance. mitt romney was talking about service to country. he's putting country before self. he didn't need to run for senate. he could have gone out as the republican nominee for president. but he believes in service and making our country better. and i think at this point we're going to have to look to him and maybe he'll have to make some tough votes and maybe that's the best way you can show what he's standing up for. as far as deals being made, there is a potential because i think that mitch mcconnell is going to start to get pretty nervous with what the president is doing as far as 2020 goes.
the senate map is not in favor of republicans like it was last year. it is very hard for republicans going into 2020. there may be primaries, but there's going to be a lot of challenges. and i think mitch mcconnell is also going to bear the wrath of this president when he runs out of people to blame. and that is going to be very difficult for him to keep any type of leadership. so perhaps cutting a deal with the speaker and putting it back on the president is going to be his best recourse. >> maybe his best recourse and, mika, susan is completely right. you look at susan collins in maine, look at corey gardner in colorado, look at chairman burr in north carolina who has been doing a wonderful job. but those three and many other republicans up in 2020, they feel the sting of donald trump's attacks, personal attacks
against immigrants, against the very people that mitt romney was defending yesterday. let me tell you something. when general mattis, when stanley mcchrystal, when admin r adminral mccraven are all attacked, that doesn't help in swing states. over the next few years, i think you're going to be very fascinated to see what republicans start sounding more and more like mitt romney as we move closer and closer to 2020. still ahead on "morning joe," as barnacle mentioned, president trump claims he essentially fired james mattis. that's, of course, not true. up to 15 lies a day according to "the washington post." since it was mattis who resigned in protest while the president made mike pompeo face the
retired general so he did not have to. we're going to have more on that and the government shutdown now in its 13th dpa wiay with no en sight. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. >> do you regret accepting his endorsement when he sent that tweet? >> he was endorsing me, i wasn't endorsing him and i haven't decided i'm who i'm going to endorse in 2020. i'll wait and see who the alternates are. i'll wait and see who the alternates are heading in a new direction. but at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, a partner who makes sure every step is clear, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward. a partner who makes sure every step is clear, and i don't add up the years.ts. but what i do count on... is boost®. delicious boost® high protein nutritional drink now has 33% more protein,
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do we. mike barnacle, beyond that, the departure of jim mattis after mr. trump's abrupt withdraw from syria, the president's flip-flops on government shutdowns and the twitter rants have many republicans who have so far struck with mr. trump wondering if he is in a downward dive. >> we're going to find that out, joe. michael steele, i talked to several people over the past 24 hours about the op-ed and they seem to think that the bulk of it, the most important part of it that mika referred to
earlier, that the op-ed was basically an opening salvo to a jury. that that is what his op-ed was. and i think that a lot of people, especially in the media business, are missing the larger point that we are the jury. the country is the jury. not really the senate or the house or the up or down on what's going to happen with a particular vote, but we are the jury. and trump is out there sitting in front of the jury waiting for a verdict. >> i think that's right on, mike. this has always been about we the people. we still matter in this equation. we've got to get over this notion. i think a lot of americans have and it was shown in the last election that we just go to the ballot box, vote and then just check out for two years or four years and then, oh, we'll check back in when it's time to vote again. i think we see now that the american people are paying closer attention. as are certainly the trump base
supporters. they have locked in and they're loaded for bear going into 2020. the president knows that. that's why that poster is on the table. he's saying, look, bring it on. i'm ready for the fight. the sanctions again in november. but the rest of the country is engaging, as well. certainly mitt romney's op-ed was about we're at this inflexion point, this turning point, where you, we the people now have a greater say in this outcome. it will matter how the democrats play their hand on both policy as well as politics over the next two years. it will matter how romney is able to widen that opening within the senate especially to have more jeff flakes, if you will, emerge who find their voice to stand in opposition to this president. and, of course, overarching all of this is robert mueller and
how that narrative plays into this story line. but the openings are there. we are at that inflexion, that turning point. it will be interesting to see whether we the people actually step into the moment and cause this administration to account for the lack of character. the kind of words, the behaviors that we've seen. because it's not just about having enough supreme court justices. we should be about more than that. still ahead, we're going to dig back into that cabinet meeting yesterday, the first of 2019, and what president trump had to say about the glitch that happened on wall street last month. >> the glitch that cost hundreds of thousands of. of thousands of.
welcome back to "morning joe." just a quick correction. i had said earlier that richard burr was up in 2020. actually, it's freshman tom tillis. so actually, it is an even more precarious position for a first term republican in a state like north carolina that can be a swing state. most likely will be a swing state if donald trump keeps acting like donald trump over
the second half of his presidency. but we won't know that for sure until we go through the two years. we have a glimpse into how things are going to look on january the 1st, 2020, from david ignatius who wrote about it yesterday. david, look into your crystal ball as you did in the op-ed and tell us what january 1st, 2020, may look like. >> one of my mentors, william sapphire who passed away at the end of 2009 every year he would do an office pool and he would throw in tidbits of gossip and speculation and i decided i would revive that this year. i had eight questions i put to people and some of them were fanciful and i through around is joe biden going the ask jay johnson to be his running mate
and is beto o'rourke going to have a country music burning bend. i just made that stuff up, obviously. but i did talk about some real foreign policy issues. i'd say at the top of the list, it's our negotiation, but perhaps, again, confrontation with north korea. president trump has said and north korea's kim jong-un have both said that they're both looking forward to another summit like the one that took place in singapore in june. what is the agenda for that summit? north yeahans shkoreans, i don' there will be another political support for a showy summit that produces nothing. i think that is going to turn the mitt romneys against him as
well as a lot of other republicans and democrats, as well. that's just one of the things you can have fun with. >> david, one of the other things i noticed in your list is obviously syria. and i think you said -- hold on. sorry. i had it right here. i apologize. i had it right here. but what did you say about syria in your list? >> i talked more about saudi arabia, susan. i think the big question as we look towards 2019 is how or will mohammed bill salman recover from the disaster of his apparent involvement in the killing of my colleague, jamal khashoggi, washington post journalist. and i late out a series of possible courses, would he going
into exile, would he be replaced as a day-to-day governing figure by an interesting rising figure in the saudi bureaucracy around him. would he begin secret negotiations with iran. these are all things that you find people gossiping about. of those, i think salman may be moving towards russia. this is a period where power in the middle east is really on the decline. so i'd look for him to recover with his troubles with help from russia and russia's friends. >> david, reading your ode to sapphire yesterday in a funny twist of events, i got back to back return phone calls while i was reading it from twho people who raised the same specific
issue about the future. and the issue was the future of the european union, the future of nato under this administration, both people who returned the phone calls to me had the same tlet threhread of argument that as donald trump continues the way he's continuing we're going to risk or see frighteningly the end of nato and the dissolution of the european union. >> mike, i have the same feeling. and i put myself in the minds of european leaders. if a european country is attacked, america will put its own people at risk for that. so i think we would see in 2019 a move towards a french/german military alliance reading the way for europe, a separate
european force. who is going to provide the umbrella for that force? it presumably will be france. that's one of the big changes in the strategic picture that we don't talk much about. but it's come back to an earlier theme. when questions like that arose over the last two years, people called secretary of defense mattis and mattis talked them off the ledge. mattis is not here any more. he's not there to talk to foreign ministers, foreign defense ministers. that is part of why this next year will be so uncertain. there is nobody to pick up the phone like that on a question that foreign leaders trust. >> and you have to look back in order to look forward. with mattis in office serving
the president, i can't think of one international trip that this president has been on that hasn't been filled with retractions, confusing events and ultimately having this president return to the united states diminishing our country. can you find of one foreign policy event that actually had a positive impact on the united states of america and its plates in the world? >> i would still saying the singapore summit, the idea that we're going to try to deal with the north korea summit in diplomacy. that is one i'd still be willing to give the president credit. >> thank goodness. >> but the team that he's got, that's a weak team.
foreign officials said to me last night, is this the new normal? don't know. >> caseo. coming up, we'll explain how republicans are trying to solve an optics issue that reemerged during the confirmation hearing for brett kavanaugh. plus, dick durbin joins us. "morning joe" is coming right back. "morning joe" is coming ri back shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial
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involved. >> wow. >> first of all, as you know, joe, what romney said is essentially what 75% of republican elected officials believe privately are just too afraid to say. i mean, we -- >> i think, sam, actually that, number is a little low. very low. >> yeah. >> i think you are. >> i'm serious. >> and the other thing to consider here is that the reaction that romney provoked sort of just fuse aifies and co the op-ed. it's a petty, vindictive counter punch that is not the sound thing to do. the trump world went off on him from everyone from the president to senators to his own niece who now runs the rnc and the general theme is get in line, become subservient to trump. he is the leader and do your part. that is what romney is warning against is this cult of personality when the personality
isn't all that great to begin with. zbl . >> also sam, that personality more likely than not is exiting washington in the next two years or earlier. it doesn't seem, sam, to be a very wise political decision for those who are doing more than political day trading. >> two things. one is trump world is nervous. they don't publicly show it. but they're nervous about their vulnerabilities within republican parties. they're polling. they even polled romney's approval rating in the context of the gop primary. that's one. and, two, this is not -- there are other republican operatives out there who think that counter punching every obscure person and nonobscure person who attacks the president is not strategically wise. they elevate them when you enter the fray with thim aem and it me better for trump to roll with it and ignore it. they know that's just not in his dna. >> all right. sam stein, thank you very much. >> thanks, guys. >> coming up we're going to have
much more from the president's cabinet meeting where he lied about jim mattis and displayed his loose command of history. >> by the way, that's a very polite way to put it. a loose command of history. >> i'm working on polite in the new year. >> this is alternative history. >> yeah. that would be kind too. plus, nancy pelosi says democrats will give nothing for the wall. we'll discuss where that leaves the president who is reportedly worried about "looking foolish" after the government shutdown. "morning joe" is back in a moment. oe" is back in a moment >> she's the chairwoman of the republican party. she has a responsibility. i respect her right to express that viewpoint. it's probably more, if you will, civil than it might have been across the -- thanksgiving dinner table. we have disagreements in our familiarly. but she's a very loyal republican, loyal to the president and doing what she thinks is best for him and the party. is best for him and the
sometimes we forget what is important. like baseball? like you! diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, johan came to st. jude children's research hospital. our discoveries have helped to increase the overall childhood cancer survival from 20% to 80%. and we won't stop until every child survives. how big is 80%? this big! donate now at stjude.org or shop wherever you see the st. jude logo. we're in the shutdown because of the fact that democrats are looking to 2020.
they view this as an election point for them. i actually think it's bad politics. i'm not thinking about the politics. i'm thinking about what's right and what's wrong. >> we asked the president to support the bills that we support that will open up government. we asked him to give us one good reason. i asked him directly. i said, mr. president, give me one good reason why you should continue your shutdown of the eight cabinet departments while we are debating our differences on homeland security. he could not give a good answer. >> welcome back to "morning joe." it is thursday, january 3rd. still with us, we have msnbc contributor mike barnicle and msnbc political analyst and former chairman of the republican national committee, michael steel, republican
strategist and msnbc political analyst susan delfrisio is us with and editor for "the washington post," david ignacious and we have jonathan kapart and host of casey d.c. on msnbc, casey hunt. and director of domestic policy studies at stanford university and research fellow at the hoover institution, lon he chen. he was a senior strategist for the 2012 mitt romney presidential campaign. and, joe, we've got day 13 of the shutdown now. how do you see things playing out? any possibility of a deal or more chaos? >> it's not looking that way right now. you know, meika, we've seen gri looks over previous presidents. reaching agreement sometimes
took a while. the two parties would jockey for political advantage. but this is what some might call a bizarre world shutdown hatched by bizarre world administration that is already -- think about this already rejected a deal that was arrived at by republicans and democrats alike. and while he was rejectsing that de -- rejecting that deal, he was bragging to political adversaries and bragging to the world that he, donald trump, would take all the credit for the shutdown. we have a president who has an acting chief of staff. an acting defense secretary, an acting attorney general. and we have a president who is acting like he holds the upper hand in these talks when he doesn't. seven of ten americans, think about this, 70% of americans oppose his wall shutdown strategy. so when it comes to pure numbers, when it comes to pure data, the trump shutdown is a
political bust. and the republicans know that. the democrats have a proposal on the table that would get the government open today. and get immigration judges back in their courts. and get immigration services like e-verify that ensure there are legal people who are getting hired by businesses, would get those e-verify services back on line today and make our country safer. safer for legal immigrants, safer for americans. this is, again, a plan that republicans in the senate have supported. but you got a president, mika, who wants his phoney wall on the mexican border so badly that he has frozen the possibility of any meaningful negotiations taking place. >> no one wants it. >> yeah. >> while the government stays shut down. and this is the stem.
and the president and he's lied. he's lied about barack obama. and he needs to say mexico and that, too, is a lie. so if you're a democrat and nancy pelosi and trying to negotiate with a man who is dealing in what kellyanne conway calls alternative facts, as a lawyer, i can tell you, a guy that mediated cases before, i can tell you there will be moment this is year and next when congressional democrats are going to have to fight over political and ideological divisions within their own
caucus. but this is not one of them. they give an inch. and there is a political punch line. and they're conservative. and there are a pufrnl linch li. maybe that's why conservatives are baffled. we said yesterday that donald trump is going to have to fold on this shutdown. he's going to have to fold on the shutdown. and on his cherished fictional wall. but apparently our president hasn't figured out this yet. so our new congress is going to have to start with gridlock
personified. and it's apparentry going ly go stay that way until someone can convince this president that he has already lost. >> oh, boy. >> but trust me, republican senators, you're the ones who are sure to be hurt the most. think about. that casey hunt, i can't believe that these republican senators, many of whom in swing states are going to be running for re-election two years from now. who know that seven of ten voters oppose this president's shutdown. i can't believe they are not going to start applying pressure soon. what are you hearing on the hill? >> i think that pressure has been underway all the way along. mitch mcconnell, before this even started, was saying, look, you don't learn anything from the second kick of the mule. i mean they have been through this before. it didn't go well last time. it's not going well this time. but the challenge is they're again caught in this vice that we have repeatedly talked about
on the show. and mitch mcconnell is out there saying he's not going to go against the president. he's not going to put something on the senate floor that reopens the government if the president isn't going to sign it. now the question is, you know, joe, the president really in this case and as you just laid out pretty clearly, i mean he's put him sneflself in a corner f supposed to be the president that can make the art of the deal, don't you usually give yourself a little bit of a way out? and that's why i think it's very hard to see. i mean he is going to have to fold. at that meeting yesterday, he said if i do this i'm going to look foolish. but yeah. but there is not another alternative at this point. >> and that's not new. >> he started by shooting himself in the foot, mika. by saying to chuck shum eastech nancy pelosi, i won't blame you for the shutdown. i'll be very proud to shut down the government. that's why mitch mcconnell and
the kra idemocrats had a deal a donald trump rejected that deal. >> yeah. there's this sort of cloud over both democrats and republicans, michael steel, that this president has proven on every level, every day that he's not going to tell the truth and that he can't be trusted to go with what has been said in a room. so the added factor, and i just wonder what is mitch mcconnell's real position on all of this? because i don't understand exactly how he aligns himself with the president so clearly when he is proven to be completely unpredictable, chaotic, and stuck on a wall that most americans don't want. >> well, it's interesting and ironic that the democrats in the house, nancy pelosi, and republicans in the senate find themselves actually in the same space relative to the president. >> exactly. >> they can't trust what they're negotiating or what he says he wants to negotiate.
and the house, nancy can stand pat. she can just sit back and go okay, show me what you got. because i'm not showing what you i got. >> right. >> and the senate though, it's more of a challenge for romney -- for mcconnell because he does not know exactly how he should go forward without exposing the president's weakest point which is there is no real governing principle here or goal. and that's the frustration. so mcconnell is just going to sit in the cut for as long as he can on the shutdown and on a number of other things to see if he can prompt the administration into a front of forward position where the administration can come out and give some indication with verification of where they want to go. until that happens, i don't see this shutdown making any head way in washington right now. because both sides are stimied by the same individual and that is the president of the united states. >> the president of the united states. so if there is any concern or confusion about where nancy
pelosi stands, here she is exclusively on "today" talking about whether or not there will be money for the wall. take a look. >> are you willing to am come up and give him some of the money for the wall? >> number. >> apparently that is the sticking point. >> no, nothing for the wall. we're talking about border security. >> nothing for the wall. but that means -- >> we can't go back and forth. no. how many more times can we say no? nothing for the wall. >> yeah. that's pretty clear. and i can tell you that she means what she says. that's what she means. >> if that wasn't a morning show, i would say that, madam speaker, is a correct answer. >> so jonathan, what are the options for republicans as they try and talk to a president who doesn't listen and will will speak out of both sides of his mouth and also bully them if he doesn't -- they don't agree with him? >> i guess you just answered your own question, mika. look, the word that we're all talking about and this is the
problem for republicans, is tru trust. jeremy steel got right to the heart of the matter. nancy pelosi doesn't have to say anything. they said to me he has to tell us what he wants. no one is going to trust what the president says he wants. keep in mind, it was vice president pence who went up to the hill before the shutdown and presented a plan that apparently was supposed to have the president's buy in and the president rejected it. and he's trying to understand just how deep this dilemma is. not just for the republicans. >> isn't it amazing, jonathan, that all of this happened
because ann coulter. nick, the churchill lie about, you know, so few. i don't know in the history of shutdowns whether so much damage has ever been inflicted upon a political party, by two people. >> right. >> he had the deal from pence. he had the deal with republicans and democrats online. and gets criticized on twitter and talk radio. and he folds like a rusty lawn chair. >> well, joe, you know, this isn't the first time we've seen this. remember, twice from the roosevelt room before a nationally televised audience, remember on gun control where he stunned republicans in the room by saying you guys are afraid of the nra. take the guns away. let's do something about this after parkland. remember in the roosevelt room when he talked about how he wanted a "bill of love" to deal with the dreamers and how the
machinery of politics was moving towards some sort of immigration solution and the president killed it. and so this is like friday the 13th part three. you name the horror movie. this is a sequel. >> so the question i asked was what do republicans do? and we have all looked at the pitfalls for them. they're dealing with such a unbelievably unpredictable president. but here's what republicans can do. don't undercut mitt romney. don't undercut the person who is giving you an opening to corn they are president and to actually act in a potentially close to decent way where he can be trusted. that's what he's calling him out on. >> think about this, mika. i think it was jake tapper's show we showed a clip of. mitt romney was given an opening to attack a family member who had attacked him. >> right. >> and mitt romney responded in
a way that we would like -- >> i'm thinking the wore is class -- word is classy, civil. >> decent, classy, civil way. he responded in a way that, my gosh, a way that is necessary if the wheels at work in washington are to move forward for the american people. and he said hey, you know what? she's just doing her job. >> right. >> and we have differences. but, my gosh, that's, you know, i completely understand. that is a sort of class and dignity and basic decency that we try to teach our children how to behave. and that we want usually in our leaders. it's been missing since donald trump. >> so you worked on mitt romney's 2012 presidential campaign. what is the opening you think he might be creating for republicans? i think he's creating one. they can watch him. if they are too afraid to
actually call for civility and decency and for perhaps trying to maintain some semblance of moral leadership in the world. this is what he's asking for and this, i think, could be the opening for republicans to find a way to communicate with this president. what do you think your former boss is doing? >> well, right. this is the essence of leadership. i think it is something that m.i. mitt romney excells at. he's going to do it in a decent, civil way as you have indicated. and if people are able to come along with him if, people are able to say, look, mitt romney has given us this opportunity, then he's going to lead in that way. but he's not going to force and impose views on others. by the way, he also recognizes that people come from very different positions. he recognizes, for example that, the position that leader mcconnell is in. he recognizes the position that some of the colleagues are in. and he's not going to go out there and bash his colleagues just because some are bashing him. i saw, for example, yesterday
that rand paul was out there doing a call with media bashing governor romney, senator elect romney for putting his views out there. and that's not something you're ever going to see mitt romney doing. frankly, he's out there to express his point of view to express a point of view about what republicans should stand for in this era. and he's going to keep doing it regardless who have opposes him. >> all right. so lonnie, let me ask you. you know, you've known the former governor of massachusetts, the present senator from utah for quite some time. did he speak with you about this op-ed before he wrote it? >> no. we didn't talk about the op-ed. but his views are certainly very clear in terms of where he comes from on the trump administration, where he comes from with respect to what's happening. look, i think here is the thing we have talked about. he wants people to understand where he's coming from as he begins his time in the u.s. senate. and he's been getting questions from a lot of people. what kind of senator are you going to be? how are you going to deal with the trump administration? what is your relationship with
the president going to be like? this op-ed was an opportunity for him to say, here it is. and if you have any questions, refer back to my op-ed. refer back to my own words. that's the great thing about this and the timing of this is absolutely right. at the start of the term, at the start of the new congress to say, look, you may have questions. let me answer them for you. if any other questions come up, i've already answered them. >> yeah. you know, jonathan, like an oil slick that's on a pristine lake, donald trump seems to leave a film. on any part of our republic that he touches. and mitt romney in effect is the cleanup crew. and he is saying to the republicans, listen, i'm going to clean this up. you don't have to. you don't have to help me clean this up. but at least stay out of my way. >> yeah.
>> is mitt romney not doing a favor for every single republican senator who faces a tough battle in 2020? yes much he's giving them cover. as i've been listening to the conversation since the op-ed ran in the "washington post" yesterday and all day yesterday and on the show this morning, this thought occurred to me. people are looking at this op-ed as sort of romney's way of sort of ripping open the shirt and showing the super man symbol and saying i'm here to save the day. i'm here to be the bomb thrower and to be the person who is going to stand up to trump. and i'm looking at it in a different way. romney's not a bomb thrower. romney is an institutionalist. he is -- he is a died in the wool true believer republican. and if anything, he's not some insurge enlt. the insurgent is in the oval office. and when he talks about decency in his op-ed, he is asking his
party and telling the country that we should go back to the way things were before this insurgent came into the oval office, before he disrupted everything about our national political discourse, relying on hate. he is trying to pull the party and the country back to where things were when things no, ma'am worked infinitely better than we do now. we had a president that was predictable to his own party and leaders in congress and to leaders on the world stage who used to look to the united states as a font of stability. might not agree with all the policies coming out of the oval office, but you understood and knew that over decades where the united states would go. he's reminding everybody what it stood for and where it should go if it wants to get back to the
original roots. >> well, and david ignacious, one thing that frustrated me about mitt romney in the past, a guy who i always had tremendous respect for even if his 2012 campaign frustrated me a great deal, but the one thing that always frustrated me about mitt romney was that he was so conservative with a small c. he never got close to the guardrails. he was data driven. and never took these sort of chances. i think that's why i found the op-ed from two days ago not only remarkable but very hopeful not only for the republican party but for this republic. >> i agree with you, joe. romney has come across as a managerial personality.
successful business lead her, a wealthy man, respected. built as you s but as you say, safe. the one thing that i don't think we mentioned quite enough is that mitt romney really embodies the traditional mainstream republican. the trump presidency is an insurgency against the republican party. and he has threatened, intimidated, pushed them back. and here's mitt romney asserting the traditional values that is very traditional face and we'll have to watch and see whether the country, a country that, you know, at least the republican base has embraced trump as their voice, whether they're tiring of that and they want this more traditional voice looking back
to 2016 and trump's incredible success in knocking down one establishment republican after another, you'd have to wonder maybe trump is going to hold solid in this because people are sick of that ole void voice. >> that's a good question. lonnie, one of the reasons that romney didn't run in 2016, i was talking to mitt romney and people around him about the possibility of him running in 2016, was at the time he thought that donald trump had the party locked down. here we are two years later and if you look at the poll numbers, it still appears as of january 3rd, 2019, donald trump still has the republican party locked down. >> mitt had great political
insight that is a cycle that was not going to reward the kind of republican, and we articulated what that mean, a muscular foreign policy, pro free trade, you know, very much forward thinking on issues of opportunity. when he defined those things for himself as a traditional republican point of view and his point of view, frankly, he figured when he saw in 2016 where election was going, where the campaign was going, that was not going to be the republican party that was going to reward him. i certainly think we've seen that dynamic in play since then. absolutely through is no question in my mind that this republican party that we see today and the republican base electorate is a base electorate that is very much tied to donald trump and with donald trump has gone some of the points of views on issues like trade and foreign policy we saw with the recent dustup over the removal of u.s. forces from syria, for example, the degree to which donald trump has managed to redefine the republican party and define in a way from that point of view that
mitt romney and other traditional republicans had. >> all right. lon and jonathan, thank you for being on this morning. >> can i just say following on what lonnie said. it's not just traditional republican viewpoints. i mean, because there are several policy positions that donald trump has taken that a lot of republicans that i have been around, a lot of republicans that voted for me actually stand for and believe in. they want to be tougher on the border. they want to be more suspicious of unfeddered free trade and the impact that has had over the past 30 years. but it's dignity, it's the class, but more importantly, it's just the common decency that people like mitt romney, george w. bush, george h.w. bush, ronald reagan showed during their years on the international stage on the national stage that the republican party so badly needs right now.
and mitt romney provides that voice for a republican party desperate, desperate for somebody out there who can speak with a little bit of common decency. >> still ahead on "morning joe" president trump's is for isis and taliban to fight it out. what happens when there is a winner in that battle and turn their attention elsewhere? we'll talk about that. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ at fidelity, we help you prepare for the unexpected with retirement planning and advice for what you need today and tomorrow. because when you're with fidelity, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward.
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so taliban is our enemy. isis is our enemy. we have an area that i brought up with our generals four, five weeks ago where taliban is here. isis is here and fighting each other. i said why don't you let them fight? why are we getting in the middle of it? i said let them fight. they're both our enemies. let them fight. sir, we want to do it -- they go in and they end up fighting both of them. it's the craziest thing i've ever seen. i think i would have been a good general. but who knows? >> we have a child in the white house. >> it's just --
there's no other way to put it. >> i could have been a great general. we wouldn't really ever know because while robert mueller was working a year that we have his needs so we can fight in vietnam during the toughest fighting that they ever saw there and while stan mcchrystal and while general mattis and while admiral mckraven were dedicating their lives to the arms services and fighting and defending this country, this great republic, donald trump was getting one deferment after another and going to a family doctor to get a phoney diagnosis of bone spurs. so, no, mr. president, we don't know if you would have ever been a great general. but judging by yesterday's performance, actually, it might be a good thing that you dodged
the draft in effect because probably would have been court-martialed a week n with us now, a man who does not associate himself with any of those remarks. professor at the u.s. naval war college and author of the death of expertise tom nichols. tom says only speaks for himself when he comes from "morning joe" or he tweets about led zeppelin. tom has a new piece in the atlantic on the president's public disparagement. trump escalates his assault on civil military relations. and, tom, can you explain the delicate balance between civilian leadership and our military leaders? one of the things that always embarrassed me when i got to congress was generals and admirals saluting me and others saluting me and i'm 31, stop. don't do that. and they would say, sir -- they
would explain that there is civilian leadership over the military. but that requires something from the civilian leadership that donald trump sorely lacks. can you explain that and the dangers to future relations between our civilian leaders and our military leaders? >> the united states is blessed with a remarkably stable system of civil military relations. you know, we take it for granted. we're so used to it that we really do just accept it as part of the normal order of our political lives. and we should. but, you know, it's not the norm around the world. i mean, there were parra troopers pairratroopers in paris and developed countries can have serious rifts between generals and their elected officials. the american systems relies on two things. we let the military do what the military does best. we don't micro manage.
and they call the shots and the top military commander in the united states and institutional authority is a civilian and that that is respected. their oath is not to the president. their oath is not to any one politician. their oath, just like the oath of every federal servant, is to the constitution of the united states. and that is a remarkable and precious heritage and one that president has really put under attack by criticizing military officers for their performance simply because he doesn't like them or because he thinks they don't like him. >> so, tom, what does it say that donald trump called stan mcchrystal a dog? attacked admiral mccraven for in the killing osama bin laden earlier, that he attacked general mattis saying what's he
done for me lately? not much. i fired him. when, in fakd, act, all three o comments were, of course, lies. >> for one thing, it certainly makes our enemies happy that i think one of the superpowers of a superpower like the united states is the indivisible unity of the civilian and military leadership that it's one of the things that our enemies find frightening about us, particularly in places like authoritarian governments, like russia or china where they always have to worry about the reliability of their military. they're happy to see us criticizing our senior military officers and calling them names and hitting them with all the kind of blistering critiques about their competence. it makes them feel like we're more like they are. so it's damaging. it's damaging, i think, to our
public life. it's corrosive to our public life and it gives a lot of -- it's a relief to our enemies to see it. because that's something they really haven't been able to peer inside and i think that disruption of unity, you know, gives hope that they can divide us in difficult times or times of crisis. i think it's very dangerous. >> david has been talking about the president's view of syria. yesterday he said was nothing more sand and death. talk about that very ignorant reading of history and i say that objectively and is very ignorant reeding of history when it comes to afghanistan and the fall of the soviet empire. if any one of your students delivered that answer on a test, they would get an f deservedly. >> it was simply stunning how
wrong the president's explanation of afghanistan was. the soviet union went into afghanistan and we know this by the way because we have the declassified records of their meeting, they're publicly available of the meetings. they went into afghanistan because they were concerned that a communist government was going to fall. and somehow afghanistan might flip and become more friendly towards the united states. and when the president said that, he not only adopted a russian line that is more of a modern russian line that, terrorism business, thats a putin line more than it is anything else. and he retro actively justified one of the most brutal invasions in modern history. something that was a bipartisan cause during the cold war that went from jimmy carter to ronald reagan to george bush that the soviet occupation had to end.
and with one remark on television the president kind of swept that away and said they were right to do it. really a stunning reading of history that is just completely wrong. >> david? >> tom, i want to ask you what effect you think this has on young officers in our military. i think of the young colonel trying to destroy isis in syria. what does he tell that commander of what it must be like for a senior commander in afghanistan today listening to the president bad mouth the deployment of the forces. what do you think those people take away? what is the effect on their sense of solidarity and mission? >> i think the long term effect on the military, and, again, i don't represent the military, but i think the long term effect
on the military is to always have the concern that if you fall out of political favor, your military expertise will be called into question. this is something that has never been the case in the united states. we divide our evaluation of military officer's foremananper from any notion of politics. and what the president said is if you oppose me or criticize many he or if i don't like you, i'll retro actively decide that you're just a bad general, that you're a failed commander. and that is, i think, incredibly dangerous in terms of our civil military balance. but also in terms of willingness to take risks, to speak truth to power, to exercise all of the functions that the military should properly exercise within its own sphere. i think it's highly dangerous. >> and, of course, it's not just
the generals that are feeling the sting of the commander in chief's remarks. it's the men and women as david ignacious suggested. it's the men and women who spend night and day defending this country's interests in afghanistan, making sure that terror groups can't rebuild in a way that would bring another 9/11 attack to this country. they have done an extraordinary job in afghanistan. they haven't failed. general mattis hasn't failed. they have been doing a stellar job. and getting tacked for mere political reasons or a child like rebuke to a perceived slight, they should be praised especially in afghanistan for the extraordinary work they've been doing day in and day out. tom nichols? >> thank you so much for being
here. >> and still ahead, incoming house speaker nancy pelosi weighs in on whether a sitting u.s. president can be indicted. that is coming up on "morning joe." ♪ p on "morning joe. ♪ at fidelity, we make sure you have a clear plan to cover the essentials in retirement, as well as all the things you want to do. because when you're ready for what comes next, the only direction is forward. that's why i take osteo bi-flex to keep me moving the way i was made to. it nourishes and strengthens my joints for the long-term. osteo bi-flex; find our coupon in sunday's paper.
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do you believe the special counsel should honor and observe the department of justice guidance that states a sitting president cannot be indicted? >> i do not think that is conclusive, no, i do not. >> so you think it's possible that special counsel mueller could legally indict a sitting president? >> let's just see what mueller does. let's spend our time on getting results for the american people. >> as you well know, there is long standing department of justice guidance that states a sitting president should not be indicted. it is not the law. >> it is not the law. everything indicates that a president can be indicted after he is no longer president of the united states sfwlchlt wh you united states. >> what about a sitting president? >> a president in office? could robert mueller come back and say i'm seeking an indictment? >> i think that is an open discussion. i think that is an open discussion in terms of the law.
>> wow. nancy pelosi exclusively on "today." really drawing the line on a number of levels. susan, this is going to be fascinating. she takes the gavel today. the democrats take over the house. mitt romney is being sworn in. the president has a lot of different angles focused on him and i don't see how he's not boxed in on several fronts including the wall. how do you expect nancy pelosi to be playing this all out, not overplay her hand but operate on multiple tracks and personally i think she's perfect for this role. >> well, we saw in that interview, mika, she strikes the perfect balance of saying it's not conclusive whether a sitting president can be indicted which is just enough to tweak and go after donald trump and just upset him. then she balances with, but
let's see what robert mueller does. we have time. and that's the type of response that donald trump is so not prepared for. and we talked about it a couple times this hour about that poster that was on the table yesterday. women dominate that show. they conquer the men in that show. i think that's what we're going to see from nancy pelosi. she knows how to play this game and frankly, i think she's going to eat his lunch. >> you know what is interesting is, i mean, no the to get too confident because, of course, women are so careful and we don't actually, one of our issues is we need to be more confident and believe in ourselves because if you do that, it actually happens. nancy pelosi has confidence. she's good. but what we learned with president trump when we watch him with his bullying techniques over the past few years and campaign entering the presidency, when it comes to a
woman, the reaction is very different. i'll tell you, when he, something small, tweeted about me, the, you know, psychotic bleeding badly from a face lift tweet, i was stubbnned from the negative reaction he got across the board. it was democrats. it was republicans. it was everybody saying, no, you just don't do that. which i think makes her positioned perfectly. i want to bring in chief national correspondent for "the new york times" magazine mark le liebovich. what about mitch mcconnell and the position he's in trying to deal with this president and democrats that have power and have been waiting for a little accountability for this president and some chances to actually get something done? >> yeah. i mean, i think if you look at this short term, the shutdown, i mean it's not clear what mitch
mcconnell's end game is. i think it's clear that nancy pelosi and the democratic-controlled house is going to pass some sort of start-up bill that is going to go over to the senate and it's going to be on to mitch and it will be on to mitch mcconnell, once again, there will be a lot of friction within the senate. you remember the senate passed the short-term stop gap bill a few weeks ago. i guess it was a week ago now. however long it was the president refused to sign it, which puts us in that situation at all. nancy pelosi has a much stronger position in this situation, we'll see how it goes forward. >> casey hunt. i read your excellent hair reading profile interview piece. you had some interesting things in there about how he talks to nancy pelosi regularly, doesn't speak as often with chuck schumer. it almost seems to me he has quite a bit of respect for nancy
pelosi. i was wondering what you took away from that conversation you had with him about her and what it says about the difference between pelosi and schumer. >> i think with that interview and senator reed'spark remarks were about nancy pelosi, he is praising of nancy pelosi. i was struck in which he said i will not talk about senator schumer. you know they were very close for many years of. he said i'm not going to talk about senator schumer as if he was signaling to me this was a point of emphasis for him and his lack of sort of going to bat for his successor and his giving support to a successor was a take away and should be read as an impression that he has of the current leadership in the senate, which i thought was pretty striking. senator reid is very, very ill. he has pancreatic cancer and is
in retirement in vegas. it was amazing to visit with him at a sort of reflective moment of his life. i think he was very both, very, very missing the fight but also very, very, just kind of upset by what's going on and also i don't think it could second guessing, and he did that in a harry reid sort of way. >> i have you both here. i want to ask you back-to-back the same question, hopefully not the same answer from the two of you. mark, harry reid. he was there he was tough. take no prisoners. he led the democrats in the senate and changed the senate to a seven degree, nancy pelosi, very tough. very formidable. so my question to you both in this new washington, which is the same as the old washington, what are the odds that nancy pelosi will actually school mitch mcconnell, who has 97
faced -- who has never faced a confrontational and smart as nancy pelosi is. what do you think? >> first of all, remember, our answers have to be different. disregard it completely. i would say mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi are savvy enough to know they're working very much together in an ad ver airline is role, their bodies, their chambers are very sui gener is. i think nancy pelosi needs to control her house and the secondary focus will be on president trump and as a corollary to that is whatever the senate does. mcconnell, himself, has his own challenges within his caucus. i think his position might be slightly stronger. they have a slightly stronger elect terror rat because they're -- electorate. they are in congress's hands. at some point they will have a
negotiating relationship and will have a back channel if they don't already in which they can speak candidly what it's like to deal with president trump. mitch mcconnell isn't stupid. he can speak as candidly with anyone privately what it's like to deal with this white house and i'm sure nancy pelosi will tree to elise it that from him also. >> i think that piece, i know i'm not supposed to say the same thing. i think that last point you made is very important. these are two obviously very dissimilar in their ideologies, to a certain extent they are similar operators in washington. both of them are incredibly savvy. both of them, their ambitions are the roles that they have already achieved. don't underestimate the power in that. these are not people that want to go on to be president and that strengthens the position that both of them have. now for pelosi, her daughter was on tv yesterday saying that nancy pelosi can cut your head off and you won't even know you
are bleeding. qui is a remarkable thing for a daughter to say. i think mitch mcconnell in his own way has similar characteristics, although, he tends to operate more in making very clear to you what the consequence will be if you don't go along with him. but i do think that these are two similar figures who are going to have to at some point work together. they have the same outcome on this shutdown situation. they will have to deal with the president in very different ways. >> all right. michael steele. >> i think that last point is the key thing. >> yep. >> the key player here is the president, himself. and i appreciate the point that new washington, it's the same as the old washington. donald trump knows that. and he will use that against both nancy and chuck schumer as he goes forward and that will be interesting to see how they combat that whole play up. >> it is going to be
fascinating. mark leibovitz. thank you very much. we will be wreaked your piece for the new york magazine entitled harry reid has a few words for washington. look forward to that up next, much more from the president's cabinet meeting yesterday that's being slammed as inaccurate and nonsensical. those would be the kind analysis. plus, we'll talk with dick durbin, who calls the president's border wall ineffective, expensive and mid-evil. "morning joe" is coming right bac
i am a techie dad. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. . jeff flake is now selling real estate or whatever he's doing. as an example, they have great beaches. i said, wouldn't that make a great condo? you could have the best hotels in the world right there. think of it from a real estate perspective. jeff flake is now selling real estate or whatever he's doing.
>> wow. perhaps if jeff flake were selling real estate in north korea the president would be more forgiving. good morning, everyone. >> or maybe if he were helping to buy a trump tower in russia. >> exactly. >> they tried that while the president was still running for president. >> that's not supposed to happen, joe. anyhow, good morning. >> sell real estate in turkey. >> that's not supposed to happen, either. >> instead of turning over syria, too, to kill our allies. >> no. >> the philippines selling real estate in the philippines where the president has embraced a thuggish autocrat who brags about extra judicial killings. >> they don't do that. anyhow, it's thursday, january 3rd. we have with us msnbc contributor mike barnical. msnbc analyst susan del percio. politics editor for the daily
beast, sam stein, columnist and associate editor for "the washington post, david ig nampblts go -- david ignacious. in a few minutes, washington will look different than it has over the past two years. house democrats armed with subpoena power and new-found political capital plan to hold president trump to account. this morning it remains shut down for the 13th straight day and the standoff could last for weeks. so frame this moment for us. >> well, if you just take a snapshot of what today looks like, it would be very easy to say that this is the crossing of two paths, the coming not only democrat make majority but coming democratic dominance in american politics. you got to republicans on the run. you got donald trump right now being even more irrational than
before, there is an editorial page questioning his fitness for office. one, in fact, suggesting that the question is being raised more and more in their circles whether americans can put up with much more of this after donald trump serves out his first term. >> that comes with a huge asterisk. because, of course, we remember when donald trump first launched his campaign in june of 2015, him sitting at one, 2%. i remember when we got elected in 1994 the u.s. news and world report cover that showed a picture of the dying democratic party saying, is this the end of two-party rule? i remember barack obama being elected in 2008 and hearing about the permanent obama coalition, which lasted two years. so i guess what i'm saying is, if you just take a snapshot of today, it looks like trump is
down, trumpism is going down. >> mm-hmm. >> and will not recover. there are a lot of reasons to believe that is the case. but we also have to be wary of making face judgments on the day. >> that is for sure. >> one thing for sure, mika, today, nancy pelosi will be sworn in as speaker of the house. >> wow. >> for the second time. the first time, of course in 2007 and now again in 2019 and we will see exactly what happens, what lessons that democrat make majority learn from their first four years in office and what challenges that will bring for donald trump. i suspect those challenges are going to be great. >> well, yesterday marked president trump's first cabinet meeting of the new year, ah, as the "new york times" eric lipton points out the department of defense is now run by a long-time executive at boeing, one of the largest defense contractors in the world.
the e is being -- the e is being run by -- the epa, is being run by a former industry lobbyist as its acting secretary, not to mention the acting chief of staff nick mulvaney and acting attorney general matthew whitaker, who yesterday launched into praise of the president. it's that loyally oath. >> sir, mr. president, i will start by highlighting the fact that you stayed in washington, d.c. over the holiday giving up christmas with your family, new years and trying to end the shutdown. have you dedicated on delivering on this critical issue for our country and for the american people. >> ah. wow. >> it's unbelievable. i want to show a couple other
clips from that and get a response from our panel, especially david ignacious on these foreign policy issues. during the cabinet meeting donald trump seemed to become -- >> oh my god! >> -- the first president of the united states to ever endorse, to ever endorse the 1979 invasion of afghanistan. zblfr we are talking to the taliban. we're talking to a lot of different people. but here's the thing. because you mentioned india. india is there. russia is there. russia used to be the soviet union. afghanistan made it russia. because they went bankrupt fighting in afghanistan. russia. the reason russia was in afghanistan was because terrorists were going into russia. they were right to be there. the problem is it was a tough fight. and literally. they went bankrupt. they went into being called
russia again as opposed to the soviet union. you know, a lot of these places you are reading about now are no longer a part of russia because of afghanistan. but why is it russia there, why isn't india there? why isn't pakistan there? why are we there? we're 6,000 miles away. >> actually, literally, he's literally wrong. it was not afghanistan that bankrupted the soviet union, it was a collection of terrible mistakes, tragic mistakes over 72, 74 years. it was purges, where up to 30 million russians were killed by their own government. it was forced famines in ukraine, it was a collection of things. it was every president actually and this is relevant, david ignacious, for donald trump, it was every president from harry
s. truman starting around late 1946, early 1947 to ronald reagan and george h.w. bush in 1991, christmas day when the soviet union finally fell. it was a collection of their policies that donald trump is dismantling that actually brought the soviet union to their knees. getting a history lesson from a man who is now tearing asunder those policies that actually did what evil empire is quite rich in early 2019. >> well, happy new year in the history lesson. >> wow. >> there were many to me cringe-worthy moments in that first cabinet meeting of his acting attorney general was one having the president sitting in front of a huge poster of
himself, it was another. he clearly has no understanding of the idea that is driven as you say, joe, every administration since harry truman that american power in the world is a force that makes us stronger, safer, more prosperoprospe prossous contractor perrous -- prosperous. he is almost inviting the russians to come back. the history of afghanistan was one small piece of the way he has of thinking about america first. i have been talking with people who are really i don't think just to say they're wheeling is overstating it from governments around the world, from members of our own military seeing the guardrails of the first week of this new year taken off as general mattis leaves, secretary
of defense, general kelly leaves the white house chief of staff. the world sees as having bounded the president's instinct are leaving. there is real anxiety of what's ahead. people try to understand, what is america policy in afghanistan. how long are we staying in these places? people who i talk to kind of shrug their shoulders. one said to me last night, you know, we have to reckon with the reality america is less important in the world than it's been for a while. that's worrying. >> let's take a look at what the president said about syria. i want to follow up with you on that. >> look. we don't want syria. obama gave up syria years ago when he didn't violate the red line. i did when i shot 59 missiles in. so syria was lost long ago. it was lost long ago. and besides that, we're talking about sand and death. that's what we're talking about. we're not talking about vast
wealth. we're talking about sand and death. >> first of all, david, as you know better than most reporters in washington, d.c., syria wasn't lost years ago. in fact, our 2500 men and women are doing a hell of a job there now. can you talk about the fact that the commander-in-chief sees a country like syria, a situation, the theater where we are right now, as nothing more than sand but death. can you explain to our viewers how, what the president is doing is giving russia a foothold in the middle east? giving iran a chance to be an existential threat to israel by arming terrorists who will kill israelis day in and day out. finally, resurrect isis and other terror groups that decide to pour into that void? >> joe, it's simple and tragic.
when our president, commander-in-chief, describes this country, which has been a crucial test of wills between different regional players as simply sand and death. he's essentially folding our hand and requiring the people of that region to look elsewhere for solutions. to look elsewhere to fill the vacuum and they're doing that. the kurds who until a couple weeks ago depend on us as faithful allies in stabilizing northeastern syria as you say successfully are now, because they have no other choice, turning to russians into the syrian regime and trying to cut a deal. i think president trump has this notion that turkey will be the stabilizing force in northern syria. >> that ain't going to happen. there's a lot of evidence to test that proposition. that's not going to happen. but just to see the american power, which has been successful at low cost in destroying isis and stabilizing that part of the country being destabilized by
the president, pretty much willie geist nilly against the secretary of the defense, secretary of state. the joint chairmans of the chief of staffs. you can't find anyone in the senior ranks of government that thinks he made a mistake on syria. it's tough to watch. >> not only is it off to watch and it's tragic, mike barnicle much of what he said was complete utter nonsense, what he said about afghanistan, syria, generals trashing the greatest generals of the past generation actually is so dangerous on so many fronts. but i want to read for you what anne geren described yesterday's meeting in the washington post. 95 minutes of outright lies. i added lice. she said falsehoods. revisionist history and self agrandizement. of course, we saw the parades from toties.
again something deeply offensive, maybe draft dodger doesn't fit his circumstances perfectly, but i think most americans would consider what he did draft dodging. he's draft dodging back during the vietnam war while robert mueller is working for a year to fix his knee. so he can go fight in vietnam and then you've got people like general mattis and stan mcchrystal and william mccraven who put their lives on the line for a generation in service and defense of our republic and you have that man in the white house attacking them zplchlt yeah, joe. and you know that man in the white house when it came to a confrontation that he felt had to be resolved quickly in order to get jim mattis out of the office of the secretary of defense on january 1st rather than february 1st, he had mike
pompeo, his secretary of state call jim mattis because he was probably afraid to call general mattis. but you know, i'm aligned with david ignacious here in the sense that for the past three days, i have spoken to half a dozen people who were members of prior administration and one who is still with this administration and the theme was the same about this president when they were discussing him. they felt there was a line of astoundingly ignorant and astoundingly isolated and dangerous incidents involving this president who for two weeks has been basically in isolation and he appears yesterday finally bursting at the seams to talk. and every one of the people i spoke to had one theme in common. they indicated they had been called by members of governments in other nations used to dealing with a sensible, sane and safe united states of america. asking them, what was going on?
hourng do they anticipate what was going on now would last and did people here in this administration realize the rick and the heightened danger they were bringing by this erratic behavior? that was the common theme. >> still ahead on "morning joe," president trump links his iran policy to an action adventure movie and tom cruise. another instance of foreign policy running head first into reality tv. you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. . once they start wearing down, your tooth is going to look yellower, more dull. i recommend pronamel toothpaste because it helps protect and strengthen your enamel. it's going to make them more resistant to the acid erosion so that your teeth are not bothering you and you feel good about your smile. it's pro enamel.
because when you're with fidelity, hey, batter, batter, [ crowd cheers ] like everyone, i lead a busy life. but i know the importance of having time to do what you love. at comcast we know our customers' time is valuable. that's why we have 2-hour appointment windows, including nights and weekends. so you can do more of what you love. my name is tito, and i'm a tech-house manager at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. [ music playing ] [ music playing so i think sam stein put it best. sam, you tweeted, somehow trump has gone from the soviet invasion of afghanistan to the kurds to tom cruise to computer boards to obama and planeloads of cash and here, sam, is the
tom cruise portion of that take a look. >> iran is a much different country than it was when i became president. iran when i became president, i had a meeting at the pentagon with lots of generals. they were like from the movie, better looking than tom cruise and stronger. and i had more generals than i've ever seen, we were at the bottom of this incredible room. i said, this is the greatest room i ever seen. i saw more computer boards than i think that they make today. iran is a much different country right now. they're having riots every week in every city, bigger than they've ever had before. their currency is under siege, thanks to us. a lot of bad things are happening. when we do all of the things that we have done, monetarily to iran, iran is in trouble. >> sam stein with the zigzagging of his brain from one topic to
another, sometimes really utter nonsense. i go es the question is, getting back to the shutdown. >> right. >> getting back to the business of trying to make the government run, which it is shut down partially now. how does anyone strike a deal with this man? event the republicans? >> they don't, what happened yesterday with this disjointed stalk about foreign policy, help essentially just counted out of hand the shutdown of his own vice president had to senate democrats which was sort of half of the 5 billion for the wall. he said, no, we want the 5 billion. so it becomes very hard for lawmakers to negotiate in good faith with the white house when they know that the president -- >> he can't. >> he can't undermine mike pence at any moment. yesterday was crazy, obviously. i don't want to trivialize it too much. >> no? >> as david ignacious said, how weird is it to walk into a room and there is a movie poster of
someone just laid out on the table. i mean, if you put that, let's say you were in a corporate boardroom, that would be the most bizarre thing you would encounter in a long time. yesterday, we were brought into this. >> reporter: they had a movie poster laying there for an unknown reason. it's minor, silly, totally bizarre. it gets to something that's common with this president. which there is a trivialization of everything going on in the world. everything is broken down in sort of small little bits. and there is huge world consequences that he gloss over. one thing -- and david can talk to this more than maybe i can. during the course of this rambling foreign policy speech. he outright dismissed the work india was doing and said, oh, they're building a library, who cares? india is doing a lot more than that comments like that seem to me to have real world diplomatic impacts. trump seems to not care about all the chaos that he leaves in the wake of moments like these.
all right. so in the "wall street journal" they write this. many thump now occupies the middle space between the first two years of his presidency and if months devoted to his likely campaign is for re-election. does he deserve four more years? do we? the last question has been coming up in conversations a lot since the week before christmas. >> that's quite a question. do we? and mike barnical, even editorial board of the "wall street journal" this morning wrote this beyond what daniel wrote. the departure of the then secretary jim mattis after mr. trump's abrupt withdrawal from syria, the president's
flip-floppers on government shutdowns and a torrance of twitter rants has many republicans who are so far stuck with a mr. trump wondering if he is in a downward dive? >> we will find that out, each and every hour, daniel fenninger refers to mitt romney's op-ed as an opportunist up yours op-ed. michael steele, i talked to several people over the past 24 hours about the op-ed and they seem to think that the bulk of it. the most important part of that it mika referred to earlier the part about character and the president's seemingly lack of character, but the op-ed was basically an opening salvo to a jury, that that's what his op-ed was. and that i think a lot of people, especially in the media business, are missing the larger
point that we are the jury. the country is the jury. not really the senate or the house or the up or down on what's going to happen with this particular vote. but we are the jury and trump is out there sitting in front of the jury waiting for verdict. >> i think that's right on, mike. >> that this has always been about we the people. we still matter in this equation. we've got to get over this notion i they lot of americans have. and it was shown in the last election that we just go to the ballot box vote and check out for two years or four years. we'll chaek e check back in when its time to vote again. i think the american people are paying closer attention as are certainly the trump base supporters. they have locked in and they're loaded for bear going into 2020. the president knows that. that's why that post is on the table. he is saying, loose, i'm ready. bring it on. i'm ready for the fight.
the sanction begin in november. but the rest of the country is now engage as well. i think that's what daniel fenninger's piece was about -- so we're at this inflexion point, this turning point where you, we the people, now have a greater say in this outcome. it will matter how the democrats play their hand on both policy as well as politics over the next two years. it will matter how romney is able to widen that senate to have more jeff flakes, if you will, emerge, who find their voice to stand in opposition to this president and, of course, over arching all of this is robert mueller and how that narrative also plays into this story line. we are that inflexion point. romney touched on it. it will be to see if we the people cause this admin
straition to count for the lack of character the kind of word and behaviors that we have seen. it's not just about having enough supreme court justice, we should be about more than that. coming up on "morning joe," two congressional democrats layout their plans for the new term. from the senate minority whip dick durbin. incoming congresswoman char ice davis. we are back in a moment. shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial
exclusively with the "today" show this morning. newly elected lawmakers are set to swear in on capitol hill today, includes this group of history-making house women posing for a photo taken for "vanity fair" posted on instagram by incoming new york congresswoman alexandria ocasio cortez, among them, democrat charice davis of kansas, michael steele and case hunt are back with us as well. thank you very much for being on the show with us this morning. i want to first ask you about the shutdown and how your constituents are faring. how are they being affect. ed by the shutdown? >> well, certainly, there have been a lot of folks who have reached out to us, who have been federal employees and then because they are not sure when they're going to get paid next, there are a lot of people doing work unsure of when they'll get
their next paycheck because they really do services and help on programs that are essential to the functioning of our federal government and that our citizens really need and you know there have been a number of people who have reached out because they're concerned about how long this will go on and whether or not it will impact their lives, you know, not just the civil service workers. >> yeah. we're already at day 13. >> i know. >> so what will the democrat's strategy be to try and bring this to an end? >> reporter: well, i can tell you that one of the first things we will be voting on today will be a funding package that will get the government back up and running so we can perform those functions that the american people need. we're going to be voting on something that has previously had bipartisan support on the senate side and that will hopefully be able to, you know, pass both houses and have this president sign a bill that will get the government back opened.
because you know, that's a part of our duty is to make sure that we're doing everything we can to take care of the american people. >> congresswoman davids, let me ask you, you are one of two native american members of congress, or are about to be once are you sworn in. you must be very proud of that. i don't blame you. can you give mae rough guess, an estimate, how many of your fellow members do you think are aware of living conditions among native americans in places like too pine ridge reservation, other reservations in this country? i mean, there is not two americas, there are seemingly three americas when it comes to the way native americans live. what's your estimate? how many members are aware of these conditions? how many americans are aware of these conditions? >> well, i go es the first thing i want to say is that just the fact that deb and i will be here, congresswoman holland and
i will be here is going to raise awareness and an opportunity to share both the historical aspects and then how native communities are experiencing life today in you know the modern era. i think that there are not enough people who understand this area, who understand native communities and frankly the federal tribal government, the government relationship that exists. but this even just the fact that you are asking me about this right now is evidence that we are going to see a new era of information of people understanding and of change. >> susan del percio. >> one of the things. we talked about the shutdown. there is discussion of what other policy will be brought forward on a legislative agenda. one of the things you mentioned as treating gun violence as a
public health crisis. i'm curious, how do you see that shaping up? what would that actually mean? >> well, you know, i think about this in a wholistic way. this is why i call it a public health crisis. because one of the things i know we have not done enough of is gathering metrix, setting up the framework for how we will address this will require we have a full understanding of all the information out there. the cdc needs to be able to study the statistics around this. metrix are how we decide what's important and right now we're not studying this enough and with the depth that it requires. we also need to make sure that, you know, people who are able to put their hands on firearms right now who maybe have a history of domestic violence or propensity or likelihood of harming themselves are not able to get their hands on firearms and then you know so there's the metrix, the people and then also the hardware when we think about
things like bump stocks, which i'm happy to start, to see that there has been some movement around some of these hardware pieces that we're addressing in a wholistic manner, not just one small piece of it at a time. >> kasie hunt. >> congresswoman elect. good to see you. you are a part of a historic class of women coming in to be sworn in, in this congress. and as this is unfolding, there are also questions swirling about the 2020 race and about nancy pelosi's speakership. we heard her weigh in on what it's like to be a woman across the table from donald trump. you also have elizabeth warren jumping into the 2020 campaign. i'm wondering. what do you think the dynamics are for nancy pelosi sitting across from trump. but also for warren, who immediately confronted headlines about her quote/unquote likability. what did you learn in your own race, what did you see?
what should democrats be wary of as they head into the next year or two? >> i definitely learned a lot about you know one what it's like to be a politician in my own election cycle. it was certainly eye opening. i think the added dynamic of being one of the kind of younger candidates that ran this year, not the youngest, but one of the younger ones. i think there are a lot of dynamics that come into play, in terms of your perceived authority and the amazing thing about this class is we have so many people who are so qualified to hold these positions to be making the decisions that we're going to have to make, that are going to be tough decision and that cuts across gender lines and all of the people who ran that are women are highly qualified for these positions
and that to me is -- it sets the tone for how we should be examining and evaluating the people running office. we have so many people who could have ran a long time ago and didn't because of some of the historical impediments to women running for office. but this mid-term election siege has reset the expectations for how many women run every year. >> absolutely ground breaking. congresswoman elect, sharice davids. coming up, senator dick durbin was among the few people inside the situation room yesterday as democrats circled each other over funding for the border wall. senator durbin joins us live next on "morning joe." r durbin e next on "morning joe." shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial allow you to take advantage of growth opportunities with a level of protection in down markets. so you can be less concerned
. the bottom line is very simple. we asked the president to support the bills that we support that will open up government. we asked him to give us one good reason. i asked him directly. i said, mr. president, give me one good reason why you should continue your shutdown of the eight cabinet departments while we are debating our differences on homeland security? he could not give a good answer.
>> he said democrats are not for border security. yeah, they, are except when trump is president. they won't give a dime to this president because they want him to fail. walls work. trump said, let's make a deal. nancy pelosi and chuck schumer said go to hell. he's not going to sign a bill that doesn't have money for the wall. if he gives in now, that's the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. that's probably the end of his presidency. >> okay. joining us now senate minority whip dick durbin of illinois. senator durbin was among congressional leaders who met with president trump at the white house yesterday, welcome back to the show. is lindsey graham right? good to have you? is lindsey graham right? is his presidency over if he doesn't get the wall? >> no, of course not. this is an important issue. democrats support border security. we happen to think a 2,000 mile big long beautiful concrete wall is a stupid idea. the president told us.
>> right. >> -- when he was campaigning the mexicans are going to pay for it. we're still waiting for the first pesto come in. we different agencies and departments. we will agree to the republican spending bills to open today and he said no. he really wants this confrontation because he thrives on chaos and he has no use for the valuable service given to this country by the people would serve in the government. >> but what's the end game to this confrontation? because i don't see -- i don't see why the democrats at this point would give him the money for that. so what's the end game? >> i don't know the end game as i stand here but it shouldn't be at the expense of the american people, the services they count on, and these people who work in our public government trying to serve the people of this country and do a great job. many of them are now going to work, for example, tsa at
airports, going to work. and not receiving their paycheck. they don't know how to make their mortgage payments. why is the president doing this to these innocent people? 75% of the american people say shutting down the government over the wall is a bad idea. i'd say to my friend lindsey graham if the president thinks he'll win re-election by shutting down the government, he is wrong. >> michael steele is with us. michael. >> senator, help us understand what it is we're actually fighting over. are we not, in fact, talking about legislation that had the approval of both the house and the senate prior to a conversation the president overheard on twitter or inferences from rush limbaugh? just explain to us so we know exactly what it is that we agreed to do that we're now not doing when it comes to this border security issue. >> michael, you put your finger
on it. there are actually two things. at one point the trump white house told the republican leadership in congress, give us a temporary spending bill, continued resolution, until the first week of february. we passed it with the unanimous voice vote in the united states senate, on to the house where it passed, then to the president, and he happened to turn on television before he signed it and he heard someone on television criticize him for being too weak and he then said i'm not going to sign it. so we came back to him and said we'll give you the republican bill, the one they voted for. including the appropriations that lindsey graham presented. now the president won't agree. he is stuck on this that he has to have a wall. he'll see this government come down rather than face the reality he doesn't have the votes. >> kacie hunt, next yquestion
goes to you. >> senator durbin, i'm just -- for all of the americans suffering in the shutdown, they're watching all this and thinking how the heck do we get out of it? i mean, i'm thinking that as somebody who's covered multiple shutdowns. what is the end game here? how do you get reopened? seems one side or the other has to cave and there does not appear from where i'm sitting to be an end in sight. >> i can tell you, you know with the swearing in today, the house will go to a democratic majority. nancy pelosi's made it clear she's going to pass those spending bills as quickly as possible to be sent to the president. >> mcconnell already said he's not going to put them on the floor. >> if mcconnell is going to stand back and wait for a permission slip from donald trump to do his job as a republican leader in the senate, then we clearly are at an impasse. mcconnell, open it up to your caucus and the democratic caucus. we can pass these house bills.
put them on the president's desk. reopen this government. continue our negotiation about border security. >> senator durbin, you've been around for a while. you've got a little mileage on you. you worked under and with several presidents, both republican and democrat. you've dealt extensively with the incumbent president. so set election results aside. donald j. trump, fit or unfit forever office? >> he was elected. i know he thrives on chaos. innocent people are suffering. that has to end. any president who wants to get the respect of the american people has to do his job. >> a lot of great chicago names.
soldiers field. bears/eagles. score. >> about 27-13. >> ooh, that's good. >> good score, isn't it? the eagles are going to be tough but we're ready. >> that's confident. okay. markets in the u.s. are set to open in just half an hour. it looks like another tough day with the futures pointing to heavy losses. president trump yesterday said last month's sell-off was nothing more than a glitch. take a listen. >> would have been easier for me to sit back and let it continue but it was out of control. the strong economy makes it more difficult because people come up and our country's doing better by far than any other country in the world from an economic standpoint. with the talk of the world. with a little glitch in the
stock market last month. still up about 30% from the time i got elected. it's going to go up. once we settle trade issues. >> we are the talk of the world, that is true. it should be noted that 2018 marked the worst december for stocks since 1931. all major indices, the worst yearly performances since the financial crisis a decade ago. apple ceo revealed tariffs from president trump's trade war with china have contributed to an economic slowdown in that country. which has in turn decreased retail sales there and hurt apple's overall business. cook says in a rare move apple has cut its first quarter guidance. senator, i ask you, is this what
you call a glitch? >> the turmoil we see in the white house, where the president has the opportunity and refuses to do so, we're also seeing when it comes to international commerce, the reaction from apple is an indication of the uncertainty of our relationship with china. i'm not going to stand here as an apoll juice from china. the president's bull in the china shop approach i guess china shop is a good analogy. why we're having a problem with the stock market. >> here's what the president said about our relationship with europe. i'm not elected by europeans. i'm elected by americans. american taxpayers frankly. so i think my relationship -- i will tell you with the leaders of europe is very good. a lot of them don't even understand how they got away with it for so many years.
i'll say angela and i'll say to many of the other leaders, i'm friends with all of them, i'll say, how did this ever happen? they sort of go, i can't believe it either. presidents and other people be with administrations in the past allowed them to get away. some will say, no one ever asked us to pay. we have negotiations going on with numerous countries to pay a lot of money to the united states for what we're doing for them. i wouldn't say they're thrilled. they've had many, many years where their didn't pay. now they have to pay. if that makes me unpopular in those countries, that's okay. i could be the most popular person in europe. i could be -- i could run for any office ni wanted to. but i don't want to. >> a tough one. characterize what he was saying and what you think of his understanding of our relationship with europe.
>> president trump has no understanding or grasp of history. for 70 years, the american/european alliance has not only brought peace to the region after two devastating world wars in the last century, but has also led to prosperity levels unimaginable after world war ii. work questio working with our allies. trying to bring that model to the world. now the president is prepared to walk away. of course i want the europeans to pay their fair share. but the president should understand the importance of this alliance. not only from the military viewpoint but economic viewpoint. >> it's stunning. staggering. it's great to have you on. happy new year. good luck. as we try and make sense of the days and months to come in this presidency and hopefully the shutdown ends sooner rather than later. d
dick durbin, thank you. at this point, i think we'll leave it right there. thank you all for being with us this morning. that does it for us now. we'll see you tomorrow morning right here on "morning joe." chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> mika, thank you. i'm chris janicing in for stephanie ruhle. the 116th congress arrives to a washington at war. battles within each party and each other. a net effect of political gridlock. >> as long as it takes. the people of the country think i'm right. >> are you willing to come up and give him some money for the wall? >> no. >> apparentry that's the sti sticking point. >> no, nothing for the wall. we're talking about border security. >> the government shutdown is now in day 13 after president trump rejected the democrats proposal to reopen parts of the government. the word from people inside his meeting with congressional leadership is he had a reason for saying no to the